Why dating apps haven’t worked for you (yet)

We live in an on-demand world.

Whether we want a personal trainer sent to our house within the hour, help identifying the name of the song playing in the coffee shop, or help picking up our dry cleaning, it takes no more effort than a few taps on our smartphones. We hate waiting and we rarely have to.

It doesn’t stop with daily conveniences – we even rely on our phones to help us with even our most personal needs, like finding love. And while we would like to believe that an app can do all the work – that finding love can be as easy as ordering Pad Thai – the truth is, dating apps can only present you with options. The very act of dating still happens in real life and it requires effort. (Boo! Lame, I know – but hear me out)

The options your dating app gives you, and the way those options are presented to you, mean everything.

Let me put it like this: if you’re looking for organic, locally sourced fruits and vegetables you wouldn’t shop at the Super Walmart just because it was a bigger store.

So why would you choose a dating app just because everyone you know is on it? Dating is not purely a numbers game. You don’t increase your chances of finding love by matching up with as many people as possible.

Let me give you an example…

The other day I sat behind a man on the bus and watched as he hyper-swiped through Tinder profiles at a rate of one per second, for a solid 5 minutes or more. I couldn’t look away. Swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe…

Tully-Arnot-Lonely-Sculpture
A mechanical finger called Lonely Sculpture, that endlessly approves potential Tinder matches.

It feels like you’re doing something, like you’re choosing, like you have SO many options! But do you really?

If we are making these split second superficial decisions, how can we expect to find a deep connection with someone? That’s not to say you can’t find love at first swipe, but life is reciprocal – you get out of it what you put into it, and that includes dating. If we use a superficial approach to finding love, we can’t be surprised when the connections we make are as shallow as a kiddie pool.

Convenience and the illusion of choice are two important concepts, because they shape the way we “shop” for love. We live in a F.O.M.O. society where we live in fear of there being something better around the corner, or a swipe away, or on another dating app, or at a friend’s party. We commit to all possible options but in doing so, we are actually committing to none. We are terrified of settling so we find comfort in the illusion of choice that we feel when we mindlessly swipe through 100 profiles, only to find ourselves no closer to finding love.

It’s all about how and where you “shop” for love. You have to sift through profiles, message each other, chat, make plans to do something you both enjoy, meet up, talk some more, and see if you vibe. It takes effort, but if you “shop” in the right places, that’s more than half the battle.

If all of the above is TLDR (too long didn’t read), here is all you need to know:

  1. So get your ass out of the Walmarts of the dating world if what you want is an organic smoothie (coughTindercough)
  2. You don’t need more options, you need better ones.
  3. You get out of dating what you put into it – lazy dating (ie swiping) = superficial results
  4. If you’re looking for a deeper connection, then get a damn shovel and start digging! That means resisting the urge to make split-second decisions based solely on looks. Take the time to read profiles – that’s why people create them!
  5. Meet in real life – this one seems obvious but you’ll be surprised how many people message endlessly, only to discover months later that their text connection didn’t translate in person.

Bottom line is, dating works if you work for it. If you’re not willing to put in effort beyond a swipe, you’re doomed anyway because relationships are a hell of a lot more work than dating. Trust.couple-hiking

Consider this as a swift kick in the ass from your smart-mouthed friend who KNOWS the dating struggle is real and that you want to just give up sometimes. Honey, I’ve been there. But all hope is not lost. We’ve got your back.

Amazing people are out there if you take yourself out of the douche-infested waters you’ve been dating in and put in the work to dig beyond the profile pic.

Swiping is so surface and you are anything but. We are all rooting for you.

Mariela,
Neqtr cofounder (and your wing girl)

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